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John Adam’s Words 240 Years Later: A Faith Filter for the Church Today

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The role of the “great Politician” can only be found in the person of Jesus Christ.

“It is the Part of a great Politician to make the Character of his People; to extinguish among them, the Follies and Vices that he sees, and to create in them the Virtues and Abilities which he sees wanting. I wish I was sure that America has one such Politician, but I fear she has not.”John Adams, January 8, 1776

It’s been over 240 years since John Adams (second President of the United States) penned these words to Mercy Otis Warren. Although his words concerned the benefits of a Republic vs. a Monarchy, these words speak volumes to us in many contexts and cultures today.

When reading this quote, some may focus on the latter part and immediately find the correlation between Adams’ statement and the affairs of our political system in America today. Others may tease out the responsibilities of a good and effective leader and use it as a five-point sermon, or the topic of the next series on discipleship.

What strikes me about what Adams said, however, is that it reminds us of our complete inability to change the hearts of others. Even a cursory look at history reminds us that, although certain times may be perceived as “glory days” and certain leaders as “the greatest of all time,” none lacked flaws or imperfections. The hearts of all men and women still ebb toward sin. There is a reason the Prophet Jeremiah declares, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9).

I have a dear friend who used to lovingly refer to her children as “little sinners.” This is not because she didn’t love them deeply, but because even by the age of 2 she saw the effects of the Fall in them. The truth is that no matter …

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Source: Christianity Today Magazine

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